Here is the latest news from our healthcare team. They took a trip to green hill to teach basic First Aid and provide some supplies:

The road to Green Hill is better described as a track than a road. The slow crawl over ruts and through mud makes the trip to Green Hill feel significantly farther away than just 10km. This rural school provides education for kindergarten to secondary school aged children from the Teouma Bush area. Each morning around 200 children make the trek up the road or through the bush to school, some walking even an hour and a half to access education.

A few weeks prior to the Family Care Centre’s visit to Green Hill School, Principal Edward came to visit me with a special request. At a recent meeting the school’s committee highlighted one of the students’ greatest needs – access to basic health services. Their long-term goal is to have a community sponsored aid post for Green Hill, but in the interim they are hoping to have a first aid room for students sick at school. Principal Edward asked if the clinic could help them achieve their goal by providing a first aid kit?   I asked, “Does anyone at the school know first aid?” He replied, “No.” So I told them that my team and I would love to come deliver a first aid kit to the school along with some basic training for the teachers.

So came about my trek up the hill with Estera, a nurse, Kelly and Diane, two local girls trained in basic health skills that volunteer in the clinic, and Colson, our trusty driver. The sound of children chatting excitedly floated from the open aired classrooms to the veranda as my team and I shook hands with the principal and six other teachers. The sound of the children’s chatter matched the excitement I could feel in the air. It was not an extraordinary moment yet in it I sensed that it marked the start of something important.

Over the course of the morning my team and I taught the teachers basic skills like taking vital signs, measuring BMI, wound care, preventing dehydration, and CPR. Many of the sessions were followed by a time of practical application to give the teachers some hands on practice. George, our CPR mannequin, played a prominent role as the teachers practiced the DABC’s of CPR. It was a busy morning with lots of information to take in, but the teachers’ enthusiasm and hunger to learn made it easy.

At the end of the morning, I began to struggle with feeling like the box of supplies and training were insufficient in light of the great need of the school and surrounding community. What difference was it really going to make? As if in answer to this very question, in the closing speeches Principal Edward said, “Today we are planting a seed for the future. It may seem small today, but one day we will look back and remember this day and this box as the start of something great.”

The first visit to Green Hill School was a successful start to an ongoing partnership between the FCC and the school. I look forward to the many coming adventures up the hill and through the mud as we work together to bridge the gap in health services for Green Hill.

– Anna Harris, RN, Family Care Centre Staff, USA